Friday, July 16, 2010

We're On the Road to Lake Placid...

Eric is doing his first Ironman this year - Lake Placid - July 25th.  You can probably imagine how much fun this journey has been for both of us... or perhaps you can't...

Apparently, all of the angst and fallout (for me - the spouse) is 'normal' so I guess I now know what I'm in for in the years to come... ;)

These Things I've learned:

There are apparently 2 alter egos at play here:  Misery Boots or Village Idiot.  There does not seem to be an in-between (ie. 'husband')... Seriously, I do joke about these things but it's true... it's impossible to get my usually helpful and kind partner motivated to do anything unless it involves IM.  Highly frustrating!  Most of the time he's just busy training, busy working or busy sleeping... the rest of the time he's complaining about training, working or lack of sleep... wow - what fun!!

We keep in touch via email.  Why?  Well, because whenever I do get a phone call, most often it's from Village Idiot... ie. completely unintelligible!!  This familiar sounding, yet nearly impossible to comprehend, voice on the other end invites me to dinner, or suggests an activity and then in the next breath or so, tells me why it's not possible... usually these phone calls occur while I'm busy at work or at home - trying to get in a nap or get my own training done...

The preferred responses I've developed consist of: 
'I'm busy'
'I'm going to bed'
'I'm going out now - see you later'

It might sound harsh but it's a heck of a lot better than letting loose my frustrations and then BOTH of us being miserable... Village Idiot is to 'out of it' to notice that I'm frustrated... Misery Boots - well, he just wants a fight!  LOL!!

My coach filled me in on a little secret:  There's IM Eric and then there's Eric... not the same thing... (no kidding...)

Luckily, I'm an only child and quite content to go about my own business and activities - for the most part.  I've learned that IM Eric won't help me clean the house, stock the fridge with groceries or help me store the furniture that I cannot put in the storage locker by myself... he will not allow me to quietly nap when he's home unless it falls within his daily routine... I will be SO glad when IM is over!!

Now, of course, the budding IM is on a taper pre-race and so he has a wee bit more energy and is excited about all of the 'spare' time he will have to spend with - ME!  Sounds nice except that... I'M TRAINING FOR MY HALF-IRON ON AUG. 22ND... Coach JJ tells me that I have to 'FOCUS' and put everything into this to prepare for my BIG RACE - so from now on, it's ME that will be living and breathing my H-IM training... I hope he enjoys himself keeping the house running smoothly while I have my own personal pre-race meltdown...

Payback's a bitch... ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Heatwave !! (You're singing it, aren't you??)

Whew!!  It's been SO hot the past week or so and I see on The Weather Network that this week will hit nearly 40 again... yuk!  I don't understand people who thrive in heat and humidity at all... I feel like a little wilted daisy, dying for water and shade and too exhausted to help myself...

My training last week was pretty dismal.  I skulked around from air-conditioned car/house to shady spot... my runs looked like zig-zags from tree to tree... crossing the street as required.  I even considered running on the spot under the shade of one particularly large tree in order to satisfy my coach's 30 minute ROTB requirement a week ago Sunday!  LOL!

My weekday workouts were terrible.  Lack of breath (asthma) playing a large role in my desire to do nothing but sleep in a cool room.  I barely ate enough to fuel myself because I just feel too tired to eat.  Goody! 

On Thursday night, I swam at Professors' Lake in Brampton and realized that I do not like feeling overheated while swimming any more than I like feeling overheated on the run... I couldn't wait to get out of my wetsuit and cap - my body and head felt like they were broiling... ugh!  I also realized that it's hugely important to me that my goggles don't fog up - I NEED to be able to see where I'm going!  It messes with my brain when I can't see!  Guess I'd better pick up a spare pair of Sable Water Optics goggles before race day!

One good thing came out of it, though... I figured out that if I'm swimming a 'loop' in a lake, I will just keep swimming for 'home'... no matter how long it takes... whereas, if I'm swimming out and backs in the lake, I'm far more likely to cop out and get out early (in other words, it's all MENTAL). 

I also realized that I really WANT to become a good enough swimmer so that on hot and humid days like that, I have the ability to swim without a wetsuit!

Finally, the weekend came and I was psyched for some 'real' training with the break in the humidity that was promised. 

On Saturday I swam my first 'loop' at Kelso.  I was so excited!  My sighting really sucks and the more I sight, the more disjointed and horrible my swim stroke becomes... I realize this is a learned skill.  Instead of worrying if I was going the right way, I just swam... and it felt great!  The water was just perfect:  cool but refreshing - it felt wonderful! 

Apparently, I have a choice:  I sight more often and go the right way but waste precious time regaining my stroke... or I sight less, enjoy the swim and glide along and waste precious time going off-course... hmm...decisions, decisions... right now I'm favouring the 'pleasure' factor.

I'm starting to dream of being able to swim TWO loops at Kelso before they close it down on Labour Day... I wonder if I can... ?

Bike training was good this weekend.  On Saturday I rode from Kelso and found some flats and rollers along the way.  Very enjoyable!  It felt like I had a headwind for the first 45 minutes and my speedometer reflected it... wow - I felt so slow compared to last week!  I'm starting to not feel intimidated by the rollers that I encounter along the way... progress :)

On Sunday (yesterday) I decided I'd do my bike and run training in Inglewood.  Lovely little spot... plenty of parking, nice little General Store, the rail trail (flat and shady run/bike trail for my LSD run ) and a lovely bike shop to walk around in as a reward after training...  somehow, I forgot that it's all HILLS in Inglewood... duh... having a shorter bike session, I figured it would be a fairly easy ride, until I remembered that where I parked is surrounded by hills and it's the only way out - LOL! 

I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to get up and down all of those hills I found without needing to stand (my knee won't take it...) and without injuring anything or more importantly - without blowing up.  A month ago this would not have been possible...

Every time I see a hill now, I wonder if it will be like that at Timberman.  Then I figure it may well be so I'd best figure out how to get my butt up and down it safely ;)  I can't get over the difference my new rear cassette has made!  I can actually keep my feet pedalling up some of the more steep and short climbs... I also realized that sometimes a hill looks way more scary than it actually is... some of them looked downright menacing until I was zooming up them without super-human effort... (note:  your definition of 'zoom' may differ). 

The run on the FLAT (ie. EASY) trail could not have felt harder!  Holy cow... I know I have to teach my body to run while tired... but ... seriously???  That was UGLY.  My pace felt like a shuffle and I was so hot that I ran out of fluids and had to stop to replenish near the end.  I wondered when it would be over.  UGH.  I fear that Timberman will be something like that... although the run is not flat... at least there will be Aid Stations on the course... one cup of water for me, one cup of water for my head... that should help... right??

Ah well... it is what it is... My race is now about 6 weeks away... OMG - MY RACE IS ONLY ABOUT 6 WEEKS AWAY???!!?!?!?!